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Latin American Markets Mostly Lower; New Rise in Chinese Inflation, Italian Credit Downgrade Weigh

Latin American markets are mostly lower in late trade, hurt by weekend data out of China showing inflation at a 10-month high during February while factory output and consumer spending were weaker than forecast. A downgrade in Italy's credit rating by Fitch has also been keeping a lid on equities globally.

Here's where the regional markets stand today:

- Ibovespa was down 560.32. Now down around 400 (-0.7%) to 58,031.5.

- IPC (Mexico City) down 361.56 (-0.82%) to 43,960.95

- Santiago Index IPSA up 2.91 (+0.06%) to 4,531.

- Merval Buenos Aires was down 5.29. Now up 7.94 (+0.24%) to 3,332.8.

In company news, ADRs of Brazilian miner Vale SA ( VALE ) are down about 1.4% today following reports it may soon cancel a $5.9-bln potash project in Argentina after failing to gain tax breaks from the Argentine government, according to a report in City A.M., citing the Folha de S. Paulo newspaper. Without tax breaks, the cost of the system could spike 86% to $11 bln.

Also today, U.S.-listed shares of Petroleo Brasileiro SA ( PBR ), also known as Petrobras, are down about 1.5% this afternoon with TheStreet Ratings today reiterating the stock as a Hold. The new research note cites several strengths, including recent gains in net income and an attractive valuation as well as EPS growth. On the negative side, however, TheStreet also found a disappointing return on equity, weak operating cash flow and poor profit margins.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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